KGOU

state budget

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Republican leaders in Oklahoma's Senate and House of Representatives announced an agreement on the state budget last week. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the deal, some of its sticking points for Democrats and what's next for legislators. 

Oklahoma State Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma will have $574 million more to spend in fiscal year 2020, which begins in July. That’s 7.5 percent more than the current fiscal year, but half a percent less than estimates from Dec. Those estimates did not account for decreasing oil prices, which plunged nearly 40 percent from Oct. to Dec.

Oklahoma State Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma’s Board of Equalization says incoming lawmakers may have roughly $612 million more to spend in fiscal year 2020, which begins in July. That would be an increase of 8 percent compared to 2019, but the estimates don't reflect sliding oil prices.

AP/Sue Ogrocki

As the state budget started shrinking, Oklahoma lawmakers began debating the value of economic incentives, such as tax credits for wind turbines. How do we know if an incentive is worth its cost? KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley spoke with Lyle Roggow, the person in charge of telling the legislature which incentives should stay and which should go.

Caroline Halter/KGOU

In the second of three interviews with each of Oklahoma's gubernatorial candidates, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley speak with Democrat Drew Edmondson.  Edmondson discusses his decision to run for governor a second time and lays out his positions on key issues like taxes, the death penalty, healthcare, abortion and education policy. 

  FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Lindsey Fox/Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma’s tax on cigarette packs doubled at the beginning of July as part of the revenue package passed in March to fund teacher pay raises. But a new study from The Pew Charitable Trusts warns against relying on so-called “sin taxes” for ongoing state expenditures, like education.  

 

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission requested roughly $3 million dollars for the 2019 fiscal year, which began July 1. But the legislature told the commission to use money collected through agency fees in its own revolving fund— some $700,000— to continue operating.

Now the commission is suing Governor Mary Fallin and other elected officials, alleging a violation of Oklahoma’s constitution, which requires the legislature to “sufficiently” fund the commission’s duties.

 

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma’s $7.5 billion budget is on Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk after passing the House 63–31 this afternoon.

The spending bill assumes oil will stay around $53 a barrel for the next 12 months and natural gas will stay around $2.99 per thousand cubic feet. House Appropriations and Budget Chair Kevin Wallace was asked whether budgets should be based on more stable revenue, like income and sales taxes.

Oklahoma Watch

Lawmakers are on their way to passing the largest state budget in Oklahoma history. But that doesn’t mean state agencies have recovered from years of cost-cutting.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Friday on a $7.5 billion appropriations bill that will be $724 million – or 10.9 percent – more than the state’s current fiscal year budget.

Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Lawmakers are right back where they started after a much-anticipated vote to pass one of the largest tax increases in state history fell short in the state House.

Despite business luminaries and hundreds of educators filling the Capitol in support of the Step Up Oklahoma Plan, the revenue-raising proposal only received 63 votes, which was 13 votes shy of passing the constitutionally required three-fourths threshold for revenue-raising bills.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Billions of dollars in Oklahoma state funds are reserved for education, revolving funds and other costs.  Called "apportionments," these allotments are beyond the reach of legislators and can't be changed.

MilitaryHealth / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments August 8 in the case over the state’s new $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Two of the largest tobacco companies in the U.S. are suing Oklahoma over the state’s new cigarette fee.

Tulsa Finds A Way To Survive The State Budget Crisis

May 8, 2017

Oklahoma is suffering through severe cuts to public services. But the city of Tulsa is making do. The Economist reports that increased donations from philanthropists, as well as a sales tax increase with revenues dedicated to police, museums and public transportation have kept Tulsa running while a budget crisis ravages the rest of the state.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Faillin held a press conference on Wednesday, May 3, 2017,, asking state legislators to balance Oklahoma's budget.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is urging state lawmakers to work together to find ways to fill the state’s nearly $900 million budget hole.

“This is a serious problem,” Fallin said addressing legislators and reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“It requires leadership and courage to find solutions to the problems that we face in our state. And to not play partisan gridlock politics like we see in Washington, D.C.,” Fallin said.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin says early projections show Oklahoma will have a nearly $600 million hole in next year's state budget. That’s nearly 10 percent of the current year's spending.

"It's going to be a challenging year,” Fallin said during a Wednesday news conference. “We've got certainly need within the Department of Corrections, which you've seen recently. We've got needs with Highway Patrol, in Mental Health Services. There's a lot of competing needs out there, for money.”

The Grand River Dam Authority's coal-fired plant in Chouteau, Okla., which is impacted by the Regional Haze Rule.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oil prices are on the rebound, which should eventually generate revenue and help Oklahoma’s state budget situation. Still, another budget hole — that could be as large as $600 million — will likely have to be filled during the 2017 legislative session. One emerging idea that could put an extra billion dollars in state coffers: Selling the Grand River Dam Authority.

Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Equalization in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 20, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma's top budget official says he's not worrying about a revenue failure… yet.

This time last year, lawmakers were wringing their hands over sales tax figures that painted a dim view of state revenue. That’s when revenue was about 3 percent below the estimate used to build their budget.

Gov. Mary Fallin announces new cabinet appointments with Mike Hunter, Jennifer Chance, and Chris Benge during a news conference Monday.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin says she'll still vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump even after his 2005 comments that came to light Friday. In a press conference Monday, Fallin said she believes Trump's “vision for America” is better than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s.

“Certainly I was offended by Donald Trump's remarks about women, as any woman would be. But he has apologized. I accept his apology,” Fallin said. “Those comments were made over 11 years ago, and in the end, what I'm looking at is the platform, the position, that presidential candidates are running on.”

Oklahoma state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, talks with a colleague on the Senate floor during a committee meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

When Oklahoma’s $6.8 billion spending plan was unveiled in late May, it was greeted with a mixture of sharp criticism over its cuts and revenue patches and, in some sectors, relief that the reductions were not more severe.

From all sides, however, there was one common reaction to the 114-page budget bill: surprise.

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